Saturday, March 27, 2021

Women's History Month: Saturday, March 27, 2021: Deborah Edler Brown's "Testament"


I, being of sound mind and body, do hereby relinquish all hope of being other than who I am.

She put the pen down and looked at what she had written. It wasn’t her will she was writing, she realized, now that the words had hijacked her. It was her will. The cornerstone of will power and her much vaunted willfulness. Her will and testament: all she had to say about who she was and where she was going. And relinquish…that was the keeper. It sat well on the tongue.

I relinquish all right to opinions that are not mine, and all interest in opinions about me.

I relinquish any and all effort to make someone love me who does not, desire me who does not, or even like me. There is no perfume that will make me smell sweet to the wrong person, no shine that will make me his sunrise, not if he wants the moon. I surrender my need to be right, my need to be perfect, my need to be good.

I relinquish the knight in shining armor, the feeling that I’m owed something, the fear of failure and the fear of success.

I relinquish tomorrow, which will come on its own terms, and I relinquish yesterday, which is only shadow and scent. I empty my hands of all of my maybes and relax my fingers from perpetual grasping.

I relinquish the struggle, the blind cat fight I get into with everything I don’t understand. I surrender to the beauty of my soul’s own dream

This is my will and testament, and my will is thy will – the will of Spirit and my spirit – and I won’t let anything as small as my fearful personality fuck it up.

I sign here in faith and ink.


© 2021 Deborah Edler Brown



Deborah Edler Brown is an award-winning poet, writer, journalist, and author. Her work has appeared in such publications as Nimrod, So Luminous the Wildflowers, poeticdiversity, Altered Lanes, Blue Arc West, and Sisters Singing: Blessings, Prayers, Art, Songs, Poetry & Sacred Stories by Women. Her poem “Cubism” won Kalliope’s Sue Saniel Elkind Poetry Prize, and her fiction has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Deborah was born in Brazil, raised in Pittsburgh, and earned her degree in Creative Writing from Brown University. She resides in Los Angeles, where she is busy building communities among her characters and readers.